See our Best of Detroit 2020 winners.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Death

Posted By on Wed, Apr 23, 2003 at 12:00 AM

It’s true, remix albums are often laughable bastardizations of original works designed to squeeze either life or maximum profit from the source material. Thing is, the source material in question here — Bay Area Gang of Four loyalists the Numbers’ full-length Life — offers plenty of room for improvement and reinvention. And the gang of electro-dance-glitch-avant-noise fringe-dwellers Tigerbeat 6 have assembled for this attack on Life are the kind of folks from which you’d be surprised to hear music that’s not surprising. Whew. Got that?

Gold Chains, Kid 606, Kit Clayton, GD Luxxe and Zeigenbock Kopf are just a few of the names that jump off the page.

So here’s the deal: Life was a just-better-than-average reimagining of 1979 new/no-wave consumed by a familiar, alternately near-feral/utterly detached tint of anti-consumerism in a postindustrial age. As a straight document, Life left little to be desired. But the gathered sonic-fucker-uppers contained here breathe new life into death (or the other way around if you prefer). Ugh.

There’s pantloads of sonic surprises to discover on Death. Gold Chains opens it up with his take on “Prison Life.” After a hilariously spaced-out cut-and-paste sound skit between producer and band — he rocks the jam like he’s trying to create the best Front 242/KMFDM song never recorded.

Elsewhere, producer GD Luxxe — whom you might recognize from Ersatz Audio’s Forgotten Sounds of Tomorrow comp — turns in a kick-ass (in a cold, detached way, you understand) mugging of “Prison Life” that illuminates the spectrum of possibilities the Numbers’ originals offer the nimble-minded remixer. Dynamaxion’s take on “What is the Product” brings the Speak ’n’ Spell vocals up front and center for funky effect and Kit Clayton’s “Faster Than Sound” remix of “Information” swings an appropriately heavy hammer of frantic beats over drummer/ vocalist Indra Duris’ rapid-fire mantra chorus “I don’t want your information/ I don’t need your informaiton/ I won’t take your information/ Fuck you and your information.”

Over the past week, I must have listened to this record a dozen times and it kept sounding increasingly like the perfect sound track to my ongoing battle to avoid CNN and the ubiquitous news ticker that scrolls across the bottom of the TV screens. The racket found in these grooves is like the antibiotic that uses a little of the virus to kick your immune system into overdrive and beat holy hell out of your infection. And for that, the Numbers and their gang of sonic no-goodnik pals should get a fuckin’ medal.

E-mail Chris Handyside at letters@metrotimes.com.

Tags:

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at letters@metrotimes.com.

Detroit Metro Times works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Detroit and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Detroit's true free press free.

More by Chris Handyside

Read the Digital Print Issue

November 25, 2020

View more issues

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2020 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation